Harbour cruises, the swarm of overseas tourist groups and unimpressive, set menus to cater to the tourists and show off the harbour. More theme than elegant, more fast and commercial than seeing Sydney Harbour with the respect it deserves. Not any more! Clearview Sydney Harbour Cruises offer more tailored experiences on their cruises. They have a few boats, the paddle boats, that have dancing girls, buck’s parties and large tourist groups. But then they have their Glass Boat Restaurant Venues; the CLEARVIEW and the BLUE ROOM, which are another experience altogether. I had the privilege of being invited onto the BLUE ROOM for an evening I truly enjoyed.
CLEARVIEW HARBOUR CRUISES – BLUE ROOM BOAT:
The BLUE ROOM is a large 85ft premium cruising restaurant, this glass boat offers a dining experience with exquisite 360° harbour views. It is a much sought after venue on Sydney Harbour with an air-conditioned all-glass dining floor and a Sky Deck with retractable roof. This makes the vessel perfect for themed functions as well as open-air events.
It offers both lunch and dinner cruise experiences that are baby free, under 18 free, tour group free and out of control party free. Sure we had a few tipsy guests but everyone was friendly and having a lot of fun. We did meet guest from overseas who booked separately themselves. There were a lot of middle to elder aged Aussies on there and the boat would be perfect for wedding anniversaries or for people visiting from out of town. It is truly one spectacular way to enjoy Sydney Harbour.
We had about six wait crew looking after us, then two boat crew, one of whom myself and a bunch of ladies stalked most of the night because OMG he was so stalkable and then there was kitchen staff. The staff were on their game, friendly, efficient and my wine glass was never empty for more than a few minutes. The boat never rocked from memory and wherever you sit you get an epic view. Someone dropped a glass that smashed and crew swarmed to clean it up within seconds.
The owner of CLEARVIEW SYDNEY HARBOUR CRUISES, Sudhir Warrier, has quite an interesting story. Check out the video at the end of this post for more. An Indian immigrant who had little money but upon his father passing had great responsibility so set up a wholesale vegetable business in India that made decent money. He moved to Australia and got a job on the Sydney Harbour Cruises – if my calculations aren’t completely off this was in 2003. By 2010 he was CEO of the business and now has quite the palatial home overlooking the very harbour his boats cruise on. He is definitely one inspirational man and I truly love his boats. Little unknown fact, my very first job was as a tender on the Palm Beach Ferries – LOVED that job!! Anything on boats has my heart.
THE EVENING’S SCHEDULE:
We were a little luckier than most as we rode with the boat and crew from Pyrmont to pick up all the passengers. I organised this little bit extra to get a bunch of pics without annoying people. The day we had was a little overcast with patches of sun and I do believe it rained a few hours before boarding. We left at 645pm from Pyrmont and collected everyone at 715pm. Everyone enters the boat and heads to the upper Sky Deck where Hottie McHottie and his other crew served everyone drinks and canapés as the sun set. We cruised past the Opera House and towards Manly although not too far – the Harbour Bridge was always in sight. The boat then continued a slow cruise taking in the best of Sydney Harbour.
After the first hour of watching the sun set, having a few drinks while meeting other couples on the cruise, and some delicious canapés we headed downstairs for a three course meal. It should be noted my partner for the evening was the delightful Nat from Get Fat with Nat – we dine out quite a bit if you didn’t already know. She is happily engaged and I am chasing male waiters so we make a great team hahaha.
- 3hr glass boat dinner cruise (boarding time included)
- 4 canapés served on the Sky Deck with drinks (1st hour)
- 3-course seated and served deluxe menu
- Individual reserved tables with waiter service
- Premium beverages for the duration of the cruise
- It should be noted that the cost of the cruise per head starts at $150 – note this includes alcohol and 3hrs on the harbour fine-dining. The value for money is epic.
Following the mains, and/or dessert most people headed back up to the Sky Deck for more drinks overlooking the magnificent Sydney Harbour.
CANAPES AND ENTREES:
Our canapés consisted of an abundance of watermelon canapés, salmon canapés and wonderful crispy fried prawns. I really wasn’t a fan of the watermelon, it needed some pepper on it or something to tszuj it up a bit. The salmon was delightful in the cubed pastries with a dollop of mayo and dill – I ate too many of these. The prawns – I literally would have eaten that entire platter if given the chance.
After this we moved to our table at the front of the boat on the starboard side (right for you landlubbers). As you can see from the below pic the view was one of the best in Sydney. Although I do have to apologise about the food photos, it was too dark in the dining room for my preferred shooting of pics and there were couples sitting within two feet of us – I could not bust the lighting equipment out without bothering people. So we lit with our phones and the pics aren’t that horrendous.
The entree was a shared platter for two – it consisted of Whiskey-Cured Smoked Salmon with Vanilla Mascarpone which made my eyes roll back into my head it was that delightful. It also had Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Tulips which were delicious but I really needed more than one of these and finally a Butterfly-Grilled West Australian King Prawn which was presented like a work of art but required some serious hand dirtying to peel the shell, something Nat loathes although points to her, she peeled this one herself :). A small lemon water finger bowl would have been a great addition.
There were four mains and we could choose one each. They offered:
- Oven Roasted Corn-Fed Chicken Breast
- Petuna Ocean Trout Fillet
- Large Ravioli Parcels served with Buerre Blanc
- Prime Australian Grain-Fed Beef Tenderloin
I went the Ocean Trout because I was on the water, I was only eating seafood! Nat went the Ravioli. The trout was superb and flaked off the skin like room temperature butter. The crisp of the skin was perfectly done and the accompanying sauce and mini cous cous salad was delish. I had a mouthful of Nat’s Ravioli and would have ordered this myself if I wasn’t being nautical. The Buerre Blanc looked more to me like a mushroom sauce but it tasted wonderful and we were under some seriously colourful lights.
We both drank a wonderful red wine with our meals and I do apologise but I never got the name of it.
The desserts were literally works of art that Heston would applaud. It was nearly like they came from the Messina court of Dessertery. The below Fruit Patisserie was mostly passionfruit with a marvellous raspberry sauce. Nat isn’t a passionfruit fan which meant I got it all, yeah baby!! The Chocolate Indulgence that Nat had the most of was a beautiful chocolate dome filled with (from a lot of wine memory) a chocolate mousse? The base was speckled in gold leaf and the thing on top of both desserts is NOT a cut piece of onion as it looks but a white chocolate wafer (again I was not taking notes and the drink-a-thon was on). Both desserts were superb and worthy of any of the best restaurants in Sydney.
The Clearview Sydney Harbour Cruises Blue Room is a cruise meal done the way it should be. No kids, no massive tour groups and no debauchery. It was a delight of company, service, scenery and fine dining. If I wasn’t invited I would never have discovered it and now I just need a partner so I can take them to experience this fantastic experience.
SCORE BREAKDOWN: 2/3 food, 2/2 service, 1/1 drinks, 1/1 venue & ambiance, 1/1 cost, 1/1 toilets and 1/1 bonus
A FANTASTIC STORY OF THE SUCCESS OF OWNER, SUDHIR WARRIER:
Clearview Sydney Harbour Cruises Deets:
PH: 02 9251 4488
32 The Promenade, King Street Wharf 5,Sydney, NSW 2000
LOCAL DELIVERY: No
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes – limited
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes – limited
KID FRIENDLY: No
*** This event attendance was not paid for and was an invitation from the host and PR Company. Although on this dining experience we were simply other guests, there was no special treatment ***
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